Germany the Power of Europe

Steven LeBlanc

Below are excerpts from an excellent article written by Henry Chu of the Los Angeles Times: “Germany finds itself back in power in Europe”. Complete article found at address: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-germany-europe-20120228,0,2973408.story

Germany today finds itself right back where it wasn’t supposed to be: dominating Europe.

As the region’s richest, most populous nation, with control over purse strings rather than panzers, Germany is the unquestioned boss amid Europe’s stubborn debt crisis and deepening economic malaise. But the turnaround has inspired a fair bit of discomfort and unease, not just among some neighboring nations but also among some Germans.

“We have an ambivalent relationship with power,” said senior research fellow Ulrike Guerot of the European Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. “We’ve never gotten it right.”

Potentially the fate of the global economy now lies in Germany’s hands as it heads the effort to keep heavily indebted Greece (where people mutter about a “Fourth Reich”) from going under and pulling down other Eurozone countries with it. Chancellor Angela Merkel successfully steered approval for a $175-billion Greek bailout through the German Parliament, a deeply divisive measure for German taxpayers who will foot more than half the bill.

Even so, President Obama and other world leaders are urging Germany to contribute even more to a permanent European bailout fund that might stanch the debt crisis — pressure that Merkel has so far resisted.

The leadership role thrust onto Germany is turning out to be a minefield in many ways, complicated by the nation’s past. Officials here in the German capital are keenly aware of the delicate balance they must strike.

Even so, critics fault Merkel’s government for mistakes of both style and substance amid what they complain is an ever-increasing German hegemony over its neighbors.
The plan that Europe is pursuing to save the euro currency bears an unmistakably German stamp, with its insistence on solemn pledges of fiscal rectitude, stiff austerity measures and punishment for countries that stray.

Despite the growing chorus of detractors and indicators showing that austerity is strangling economic growth in ailing nations, Merkel has refused to yield, and no fellow European leader has been strong enough to overrule her.

She’s the queen of Europe,” said Josef Joffe, editor of the newspaper Die Zeit.
Merkel recently surprised many with the startling announcement that she would cross the Rhine and actively campaign on behalf of French President Nicolas Sarkozy for reelection in April — more proof, critics say, of Germany’s pan-European aspirations.

But Joffe said Berlin had neither sought nor built up much experience for its current ascendancy in European affairs, which helps explain some of its missteps.

“The leadership of Europe has really been dropped into its lap, a country with a culture that’s not prepared for leadership, doesn’t have the apparatus and doesn’t feel comfortable in the role,” he said.

We believe that Germany will play a pivotal role in end-time Prophecy, and that a rising European Beast power will eventually dominate the world economy (read Revelation 13 & Revelation 18).

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